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Responsive and Resilient Pedagogy during COVID-19

The Serie Center and the Academic Technology staff have teamed up to provide extensive pedagogical and technological resources to help faculty prepare for the responsive and resilient teaching that will be required in 2020-2021. We are also working with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) on weekly consortium-wide workshops, which began on June 8th.

For extensive resources, please see the Teaching page of the Remote Teaching and Learning website

For “how to” and late-breaking information about technological and pedagogical tools, check out MacDigital

As you prepare your classes, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of clarity and transparency, predictability, structure, and flexibility.

  • Talk to your students – via your syllabus, Moodle posts, email, on the first day of class, etc. – about why you’ve chosen particular instructional and engagement modes.
    • Synchronous meeting times are important for: staying connected, building community, having conversations, doing certain kinds of projects or activities, and providing structure
    • Asynchronous activities can be particularly effective for delivering content, accommodating time differences and other challenges to being in a particular place (i.e., zoom room) at a particular time, allowing more reticent students space to share their ideas, offering more time for reflection, etc.
  • Provide as much structure to the week as possible. For any given day make clear:
    • What is expected of students?
    • By when should they complete it?
    • Where is the activity taking place (wherever they are working? on Zoom? in the classroom?)?
  • “Flexibility” – in a variety of forms – was deeply appreciated by students during Spring 2020. This can mean offering:
    • more than one way to complete an assignment (e.g., an essay or a video or a slide deck)
    • a few day range within which an assignment is due
    • untimed exams (that can be completed within a day or two, rather than within an hour or two)
  • Students are extremely sensitive to the fact that their spring was disrupted by a complex and frightening global event, the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the state of the pandemic, particularly in the U.S. has only gotten worse since we sent everyone home in the Spring. Earlier this summer, the murder of George Floyd was a harrowing reminder of the devastating and unrelenting consequences of the other pandemic: the pandemic of racism and anti-Blackness.
    • Staying cognizant of and as accommodating as possible to the realities of students’ – and your own – stresses, concerns, fears, commitments, etc. in the midst of these pandemics will be important.
    • Teaching is always a deeply human endeavor. Now it is, perhaps, even more so.

The Critical Digital Pedagogy workshop ran in June of 2020. All readings and resources remain available on the website; please check them out even if you didn’t participate in the workshop.

Get up to date information about Macalester’s response